DirectGroup Bertelsmann has acquired the e-mail marketer and transferred a 50% stake in the Boston-based company to Bookspan. Cofounder Jeffrey Glass will continue as Zooba president and the company will remain in Boston as an independent business unit that will continue to service all current partners.

Zooba delivers e-mail items to subscribers on 48 different topics and has about 2.5 million members (E-publishing, Oct. 23, 2000). Bookspan will use Zooba to promote its specialized clubs to Zooba members who have subscribed to a particular topic area—a Zooba subscriber to its history channel, for example, will receive information about Bookspan's history book club. Zooba is also building a private label e-mail channel for Bookspan that the club will use to provide value-added services as part of its effort to build customer loyalty. Zooba is in talks with publishers to build similar dedicated channels, Glass told PW.